7 Fun Ways to Burn Calories at the Beach

Article posted in: Fitness
paddles and bouncy ball on the beach

Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean your healthy lifestyle goals have to go on vacation. In fact, it can actually be a lot of fun to get in a quick workout on the beach. If you pick the right activity, you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to even realize that you’re exercising on vacation. Plus, beach cardio workouts and strength training activities can burn some serious calories! Here are seven we love:

1. Jump in!

Whether it’s swimming, boogie boarding or kayaking, water activities can be a really fun way to burn calories. Even just leisurely swimming around the ocean for an hour can burn more than 300 calories. But add in some wave jumping and you can really boost that number. An hour of kayaking will help you build upper body strength while also burning 272 calories per hour. Boogie boarding can burn close to 140 calories. Water activities are some of the best beach workouts.

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2. Toss a Frisbee

Frisbee is one of the best exercises to do on the beach. In general, an hour of Frisbee burns around 136 calories. But when you add in running through the soft sand—which provides some natural resistance—that number can climb. Make it fun and challenging by throwing near the water and diving into the waves. You won’t even realize you’re doing a serious cardio workout!

3. Dig and Build

If you have kids at the beach with you, chances are they’re busying themselves building a sand castle. This is a great opportunity for you to make childhood memories and burn some extra calories. If you do a lot of digging and transporting of wet sand or water, you could potentially burn more than 200 calories in an hour. The idea is to try to stay active instead of sitting the entire time. Maybe even do a few bicep curls every time you transport a bucket of water—or jog back and forth from the ocean. It may sound silly but it’s an easy way to maximize the calorie melt while still spending quality time with the family.

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4. Spike a Ball

Beach volleyball is an excellent workout and can burn as much as 500 calories in an hour. Playing in the sand can make it much more challenging—and calorie smashing—than typical lawn volleyball and it’s easy to work up a good sweat even in a moderately paced game. Just be sure to drink plenty of water during this often-intense aerobic workout.

5. Play Paddleball

Like volleyball, playing paddleball or other beach racquet sports can also be a great calorie burner. An hour of paddleball can burn between 350 and 600 calories (depending on your level of competition), making it one of the best beach workouts. Any cardio that you can fit in while also having fun is a weight loss win-win.

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6. Take a Walk

Walking for exercise on vacation can burn close to 200 calories an hour on a flat, firm surface—without any hills. But walking on the uneven sand boosts the burn. Adding weight also increases the effort so if you’re pushing a jogging stroller or even carrying your beach gear, you’ll burn even more. To add to your full-body workout, consider doing squats each time you bend down for a shell. You’ll tone up while also collecting pretty treasures.

7. Water Jogging

Obviously a jog on the beach is going to burn a lot of calories—500 or more in an hour depending on your pace. But jogging isn’t for everyone and many find jogging on the sand to be an especially challenging workout. If you fit that category, take your jog to the water! “Jogging” in the ocean—or pool—is easier on the joints and still burns close to 500 calories in an hour.

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*All calorie estimations based on a 150-pound woman and sourced from the database at calorielab.com.